Let’s Recharge!

In today’s everyday life and the need to rush, rush, rush, we all pretty much suffer from Adrenal Fatigue.

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What is adrenal fatigue you may ask?  That is the end result of constantly living life in the state of “flight or fight”, otherwise known as Chronic Stress. We are so over stimulated with social media, daily world affairs, the job- with all it’s demands to always do more, make more, be more! Don’t forget the family time demands as well.  We unknowingly place ourselves in this state where even after decent nights sleep we STILL feel exhausted and feel sometimes even worse than before we went to bed.  This is Adrenal Fatigue.

This past weekend I attended a well needed and deserved  Restorative class myself as part of my Self-care Sunday practice. That had been the first time I had take a studio class for some time as most of the time I practice at home.  It was GLORIOUS! I felt like an ooey gooey warm brownie (if I were a desert) afterwards. I highly recommend taking one once a month, your body, mind, and probably your family, co-workers and boss will thank you later! If you can’t get out and take a formal restorative class, drop me a line if you are a local and I will be happy to set up an appointment and I will bring the classroom to you and provide a private restorative session just for you!

 

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Disclaimer: This was not from this weekend.  

 

Until Next time,

Namaste my friends!

Not your Mom’s or Granny’s Yoga

 

So far, 2018 is shaping up to be a great year for

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2016 and 2017 can go suck it as far as years go, but at the risk of jinxing myself, 2018 is turning around quite nicely!

So I am doing this “thing” (as the younger generation says) in April 2018!  I am totally stoked!  Even though I have been teaching for a few years, this will be my first time teaching Yoga in a formal “studio”  I am familiar with this studio as I took my Yoga Teacher Training here and it feels like I’ll be “coming home”.  Being that I am also a member of my “teaching  targeted demographic”, I know I can bring a new prospective to some students and hopefully new folks on what it’s like to step outside our comfort zones and get re-acquainted with our bodies. cropped-img_20160331_211012.jpg  We take our bodies for granted so much until at which time we lose the range of mobility in some areas of the body we enjoyed and took for granted in our youth . We think we are pretty much invincible in our 20’s and 30’s, and once we get to the 40’s reality starts setting in and before you know it, you’re 50 something and all of a sudden we are like, “Holy Shit! where did the time go, why don’t things work like they used to!!??”  We get so caught up in our daily lives that time passes faster and faster with each passing day.  We forgot to be mindful and we just get caught up in the Merry-go-round of life.

The studies are right you know, sitting is really is the new smoking!

 

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I can attest to that, as my 9-5 job is predominantly sitting.  The only exercise I get  during work hours is when I have to run to the restroom or to run to the printer/copier and when  I teach my lunchtime Yoga classes.  And, even though I said run, that was pretty much an exaggeration since it’s more of a hobble/walk because I sat too long trying to accomplish just one more thing before I get up.  So, I have witnessed what a sedentary work style can do to  first hand! And as I age, it is not getting any easier.   Momma was right!  Growing old isn’t for sissies!!

I did breakdown and I bought myself a new chair for work so I could get in some extra movement at my desk.  It took a week or so to get used to it, but I highly recommend them! I love my Yoga ball Chair!active-activity-ball-exercise-41213.jpeg

 

 

 

March is a big month so far as well, I have seen an uptick in attendance in my  yoga classes and  I also decided to take the plunge and are making steps toward a more healthy lifestyle with less harmful chemicals in the household and utilizing essential oils by incorporating Young Living products into our lives.

The March event that I am MOST excited about is becoming  community partner with the Yoga and Body Image Coalition! I can’t wait to incorporate this partnership with my teaching work! I encourage you to check out their work!

 

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So stay tuned for more exciting things to come!  Yea, 2018 is turning into a great year so far!!!

Namaste friends!

Accountability

Last week my family and I watched a movie called Circle.  It was a thought provoking movie where Mae Holland (played by Emma Watson from the Harry Potter series) got her dream job with the world’s most powerful tech and social media company.  Encouraged by the company’s founder (played by Tom Hanks) to participate in a ground breaking social experiment. She became “totally transparent” where she was on live web feed during her daily life. It showed the world with real time feedback from her “followers” of her daily interactions under the premise that a person inherently behaves better for themselves and with others within society if they know someone is watching. I totally recommend watching this as she took the social experiment and ran with it, and in my opinion, we could do with some of this transparency in Washington and in the world in general. (I am sure several would agree!) I won’t spoil the movie any further than that. But I liked it alot even though the rotten tomatoes rating wasn’t great.

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I know that to some reading this, I may have just described an anxiety trigger for you.  I apologize if this is the reaction you had.  I know that a lot of people are very anti- “big brother” and they are entitled to their reasons and opinions, but please stick with me a bit longer.  Everyone is wired differently and have different life experiences that shape them into the people they are.  Some people self-reflect and know their behavior patterns and some people are oblivious to how they act toward themselves and with others. I fall more in the first group.  No talkingNow, that is not to say that I haven’t had to eat my fair share of crow in my lifetime.
There have been times that I spoke before I engaged the brain into gear. I can’t tell you the number of times that I was berated as a child to think before I spoke. Or the times that I was told that I should not speak unless spoken to. 

 

After much reflecting on my life (as one my age tends to do from time to time) I have noted that I generally fall into the category that I prefer to live my life out loud.  After all, if something I do, either for someone or to someone or visa versa, and if someone could benefit from my example, so be it! I have always been a “helper” in this sense. Even when there are tasks on the hubby’s “honey do” list, I generally will help if I am able, that way this will make the task/job go by faster, so we can move on to a more fun thing to do. I think that this quality about me is what set me apart and was a quality that some of my fellow Yoga Teacher Trainees told me after graduation that they wish they could do.  They told me that I was not afraid to just come right out with – whatever.  They told me that they could never be like that.  My question to them, why not?    If I can help you, we can all benefit in the long run.  Right?

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I would like to do an experiment of my own and try some of what Mae Holland did in the movie. I won’t record all the time, but I will post brief recorded bits here, and on my Instagram accountFacebook page and Twitter account of my daily practice, whether it be yoga, meditation or on the subject of meditation or perhaps some of me thinking out loud about day to day topics as they relate to yoga, body positivity, workplace wellness, etc.   I will probably mix it up and put a little here, a little there just to keep you on your toes.

My reason for doing this is  to help offset some of mainstream media & the internet’s tidal waves full of images of thin, hyper-flexible yogis that tend to intimidate a lot of people. I understand that is a source of inspiration for some, but that tends to have the opposite effect to those persons who would like to try yoga. They talk themselves out of trying yoga before they even get on a mat because they think their bodies could never attain what the image projects to the viewer.  SO, I am here to do my part in breaking the cycle.  Yoga is for EVERYONE! 20160330_123104

I am really inspired to step outside my comfort zone for the greater good of the evolution of our Yoga community thanks to trailblazers Anna Guest-Jelley, Dianne Bondy, Amber Karnes, Melanie Klein and many others-

I have broken out my inner Warrior!

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Yoga is not all just Asana*

*(Those seemingly impossible “let’s bend our bodies into a pretzel” poses)

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You may see, or may not see all over the internet, “Yoga is not just Asana” Do you ever wonder what all that is about? I used to not think anything of it. Until I decided to make an (a small, but growing) adjustment to my life and mindset. I don’t know if it was even a conscious decision or if it came with age or a point in my practice where I started to self-examine more. I’ve never been much of an inquisitive person, I pretty much would go with the flow. I just let my gut/heart lead the way.  When I went to Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) I had NO CLUE what I was getting into! Instead of walking into a situation with my “eyes wide open”; I committed myself to this program with “eyes really shut”! I just let my soul guide me through the experience. And boy what an experience it was!! Talk about an eye-opening, mind-blowing experience! There really is more to yoga than just the physical stuff on the yoga mat!!
Now, first I should preface this to say that I came to yoga relatively late in life and didn’t take the plunge to become a Yoga teacher until I was past 50. So, you could say that I was deeply rooted in my ways and came to this experience with over half a century of baggage! Really old dilapidated baggage. Deeply rooted mental and physical scars (otherwise known in Yoga speak as Samskaras)
I learned a lot throughout the course. I must admit though that I was overly critical of myself and judging myself by others’ experiences (one of the things you are NOT supposed to do). There were other yoga teacher trainees that were having a lot of epiphanies and profound changes in their mindsets while going through the course. I would witness other trainee’s breakdown in tears while explaining the shift within themselves. They were having profound life changing experiences. I thought of myself as “broken” in a way because I was not having these profound “a-ha moments” like others in my class. It wasn’t until years later (now) that I am realizing (the information is still sinking in) that I perhaps already went through similar life altering experiences, but in different ways earlier in my life and that my reaction to it them was different, as we all are different. Or it very well could be that I just haven’t “arrived” to that point of self-examination yet.  Time will only tell and living life is all a learning experience.
Anyway, getting back to the Yoga is not just Asana, or Yoga is not just the poses on the mat. Yoga is big and profound, or it can be subtle. Just taking a moment to smell the proverbial roses is a yogic act. Taking a few moments to take a few long slow breaths before walking into a meeting to settle your nerves is practicing yoga. Thinking before you speak and choosing your words wisely is a mindful, yogic act. I know that I am being overly simplistic, but why not just start there? It’s Just like dipping your toes into the water so to speak.

In the coming weeks, I hope to be posting more of my thought processes and learning experience in the coming weeks so perhaps lift some of the mystery of Practicing Yoga as a mid-lifer in a fixer-upper body.  I would love to hear from you too.  Let’s make this a dialogue.

Namaste’ Y’all

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The Practice of being Mindful and Perceptions

 

 

Some days, I wonder to myself if the art (and I used the term loosely) of mindfulness is becoming a thing of the past.  I think it’s becoming obsolete or rather like the dinosaur fading into extinction . I know that it’s one of today’s buzzwords.  Everyone makes it out to be very “New Age”. It’s not new, we have just forgotten about it. We have let it fade into the background because too many other items, projects, tasks, demand more and more of our conscientiousness.

I have to admit, until I reached my late 40’s and  into my 50’s, I wasn’t particularly self-aware.  I went though daily life  and grew into different roles-  a HS graduate, an Airman/Sergeant in the USAF, a verbally abused wife, a Mother to small children, a Widow, a Civilian, a Caregiver to a terminally ill child, a Wife, an Insurance Agent, Mother to graduates, a Yoga Teacher and a Grandmother. I have been a lot of things to a lot of different people.

It wasn’t until my initial training as a Yoga Teacher did I truly take stock into practicing mindfulness.  Not only am I more self aware of my actions, inactions, decisions, etc. I am observing more and more how others don’t even exercise a small amount of self-awareness. It’s not hard to spot actually. Going to the grocery store for example- that walk from the parking lot to the door.  It reminds me of a scene from Night of the Living Dead. Heaven forbid they look both ways before walking out right in front of you!

Now, I am not by any means saying that I am a master of being mindful. I am far from it, but I like to think that I am more mindful than the average person. And with the latest political climate and world affairs and the daily work environment, I am finding that I need to step up MY mindfulness practice just to keep my head above the proverbial life waters. There are days that I need to practice it MORE than others just for my own health. Perhaps I will divulge more on that subject at a later time.

There was an exercise in mindfulness/perception in Yoga Teacher Training that I particularly enjoyed and took a lot from the experience. It was a walking meditation.

We would close our eyes, take a couple of steps and then open our eyes and observe everything around us. Taking notice of the colors, scents, the breeze or lack thereof, the sun, etc. and our personal feelings of this “picture”. We then closed our eyes again and took a couple more steps and repeated the process. Not only was this very peaceful and soothing, it taught you that if you looked at something at a different angle, the perception of the sight or situation is completely different.  Hello!  Mind blown!  Multiple lessons in a single exercise!!!

Developing your own practice of mindfulness is easy and simple. A lot of folks think that to do this , you have to sit  like a pretzel and meditate and who has time for all that??  With work, family, kids, pets, appointments, etc, they don’t even START a practice of mindfulness. If you are one of those folks that I just described, stop. Now. You are thinking too much!  Get out of your head!

All it takes to start is 5 full and deep breaths.  Here, let’s do it together.

Inhale slowly, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.

Exhale slowly,  two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.

Inhale slowly , two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.

Exhale slowly, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.

Inhale, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.

Exhale, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.

Inhale, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.

Exhale, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.

Inhale, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.

Exhale, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.

There, you did it!  You just began your mindfulness practice.  It took less than a minute!

If you do this multiple times a day, you should begin to feel better and perhaps find more time to do it more often, because if you are like me, you begin to crave the peacefulness and sense of well being.  You can set your phone or watch to remind you to do it at various times of the day.  I know this sounds crazy, but if you feel strange doing it at your desk or work area, go to the restroom and do it there or perhaps go to your car, or take a break, go outside and take a walk around and do a  short walking meditation.  You will be glad you did!

Namaste my friends!

Until next time, be blessed,

Kristen